So what is the FCSS-FESC?
The Federation of Canadian Secondary Students-Fédération des Élèves du Secondaire au Canada (FCSS-FESC) is an entirely non-partisan youth-led charity that strives to amplify student voice and empower students across Canada through various initiatives. We're the one stop shop if you need fuel for your future.
Our mission is to help secondary students across Canada develop their skills outside of the classroom, provide essential information in times of crisis, educate public and students on barriers to a meaningful public education through our public research programmes, and help in the transition to post-secondary, regardless of the pathway students opt to follow.
Do you have a passion? Do you have an idea? Do you want to incite change? We are here to help.
- To ensure that the voices, needs, and concerns of every secondary student are heard by the respective provincial/territorial Ministry of Education, local/municipal School Boards, and individual administrators at every high school across Canada by:
- Providing a framework of rights outlining what every student should expect from public education, including safe and inclusive learning environments, equity of learning regardless of socio-economic status, the right to an individualised learning plan, etc.
- Facilitating discussions between stakeholders in education during labour disruptions and negotiations by opening dialogues with partners at the relevant Ministry of Education, School Boards, and union groups.
- Independently investigating and assisting students who have been affected by a perceived violation of their rights under the Education Act or where a shortfall in the obligations of the government in providing public education has arisen.
- To enrich the time students spend on their educational journey through secondary school and developing unique programmes and services that ensure every student has an opportunity to succeed and is given the care, attention, and support they need to realise their potential by:
- Developing, in partnership with industry professionals such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, a series of workshops and seminars that teach students essential skills to reduce harm, violence, suffering, and suicide, such as stress coping skills, peer suicide alertness and awareness, anxiety reduction and mindfulness, resilience and allyship against identity-based discrimination, etc., and making referrals to mental health professionals and social workers when required.
- Preparing students for their futures and instilling lifelong skills not traditionally taught in classrooms such as time management, organisation, critical thinking, abstract reasoning, leadership, etc. by leveraging partners at leading Canadian and international universities to share the skills needed to be successful into the future.
- Helping to inspire current secondary students to pursue a diverse range of post-secondary pathways including university, college, apprenticeship, etc. by offering a matching service to pair high school students with a post-secondary mentor in a similar field of interest/study and at the institution the mentored student wishes to attend to share knowledge and experience on admissions, campus life, courses, study tips, etc.
- Offering a business mentorship programme that pairs aspiring students with entrepreneurial spirit with leaders in business for one-on-one mentorship on developing a business plan, creating a product or service, conducting market research, and marketing.
- Offering post-secondary scholarships to students who have demonstrated either a commitment to exceptional academic achievement with an average of 95 per cent or higher or to those students who have shown an overwhelming commitment to their community through volunteerism and service regardless of academic achievement.
- To advocate for better public secondary-level education across Canada to each province's provincial/territorial Ministry of Education and to local school boards on issues beyond increased funding to also include the development of resources to support teachers to go beyond the curriculum on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusivity by:
- Providing expert opinions and testimony to the Government of Canada or the government of the respective province/territory during sittings of Parliamentary Committees on education or youth affairs as they relate to our mandate of supporting students and creating better public education, calling for funding increases where necessary.
- Supporting teachers and educators by developing supplementary curriculum materials that aid in the instruction of issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusivity within the classroom and beyond with a specific emphasis on the stigma of mental health and Canada's Aboriginal and Indigenous populations. including the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) peoples.
- Working in a consultative capacity with each provincial/territorial Ministry of Education to suggest revisions to curricula when they are under review to provide for greater integration of twenty-first century skills such as entrepreneurship with an emphasis on how the physical, psychological, cognitive, and emotional well-being of students correlates with greater overall academic achievement while also working to support academic attainment in mathematics, four-year secondary school graduation rates, and core literacy.
The FCSS-FESC offers three distinct programmes to help students, and we are always looking to add more programs to cater to different audiences. The programs include, but are not limited to:
School Ambassador Program
Up to five students from schools across Ontario may join to represent their school within the FCSS-FESC, participating in various opportunities and events as recommended by the executive team and will be given the chance to gain valuable skills and experiences within different areas of the organization.
- Pathways Mentorship Program by FCSS-FESC and CampusVibez
As a high school student, we are expected to decide what we want to do with the rest of our lives in just a few years, and this can sometimes lead to rushed decisions or a general indecision on what we want to do or where we want to go. The Peer Mentorship Program connects secondary students from across the province to university students within their fields of interest at their schools of interest so that they may have a mentor who can help provide information and guide their decision onto the path of their choice.
- Initiate Affiliate
Many students tend to have great ideas when it comes to things we can do to help make a change/difference. However, there are several barriers that one must overcome before they can hope to reach their goals. Introduced and managed by Adree Khondker, CIO, this program allows students with ideas that fit into our guidelines to get the help they need, whether it be administrative, website, fundraising, incorporation, marketing, and more. Check out our current affiliates here.
- ICE (Inspire, Collaborate, Excel) Conference
As the inaugural conference for the FCSS-FESC, the ICE Conference was created with the intention of Inspiring our delegates, promoting Collaboration, and pushing them to Excel. To be held in Downtown Toronto in mid-April, 300 secondary students are expected in attendance. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting, to be held on Saturday, February 28th, 2015, will be by invite-only for members of the FCSS-FESC and select guests. With a theme of Infinite Possibilities, it is an annual gathering to discuss the organization’s progress and achievements, through the presentation of annual reports from the organization’s various programs and initiatives. The AGM provides the organization with the prime opportunity to discuss policy, in addition to determining its future objectives and plans.
- FCSS-FESC sponsored Workshops and Events
With our Ambassador team growing by the day, we see the need for more events for us to be able to reach out to the community and provide them with the opportunities and knowledge that we wish we had at a younger age, and to start making a difference where possible. Ambassadors propose events and workshops that they would like to see become a possibility twice during their term. If approved by the Executive team, we work with the Ambassadors to help bring these events to a reality. Look for an event coming near you here.
We are always looking for something new to add to our growing list of programs. Contact us to see if we can help bring your ideas to life!